30.09.18

Fifty one weeks today
Fifty one whole weeks since this little madam arrived.
Fifty one whole weeks of love.

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We are a week away from celebrating Livs first birthday, and with this being the penultimate blog post, I feel it’s only right for it to be where Liv is at this point in terms of sleeping, eating, milestones etc. One of the reasons I started this blog was so that I could jot down my (mostly irrational) thoughts and worries relating to bringing up a baby and use it to process them and (hopefully) look back on previous weeks and see how far we’ve come – or not in some cases. My blog has gone on a lot longer (and a lot more publically) than i originally intended and as amazing as that is, I want to stay true to it’s original purpose and write about how far Liv, and I have come since the start of our journey and also add in a little advice I’d give my ‘new mum’ (and other new mums) self. Back in the newborn phase, i thought motherhood would become a LOT more straightforward by the time Olivia turned one. And while its true that there are a lot of aspects that are a distant dream (or maybe nightmare is more appropriate) there are some things that are still happening and I feel it’s important to be open and truthful about these things to avoid some mums feeling like they’re the only ones who may still be struggling with certain aspects a whole year on. It may be slightly repetitive to some but hey, I guess that’s a true likening to some days with a baby, right?!
So ‘New mum Emma’ here come some home truths a whole year on….

First of all, everyones favourite – sleep! Your baby still isnt consistently sleeping through the night, every night, at a year old.
SO STOP STRESSING!
You know all that time you spent worrying about how long it will be before you sleep again/until your baby will ever stop waking (multiple times) throughout the night/stop wondering if you’re doing something wrong or if you have a broken baby.
Your baby sleeping through the night reflects in no single way, your ability to ‘mum.’
All those crazy folk who ask if you have a ‘good baby’ – meaning a baby who sleeps through the night – or those who look at you with such pity when you explain that she’s still up a couple of times a night, feel free to kick them in the shins.
Turns out that there’s always something that prevents babies from sleeping through at several points in their babyhood – whether that be feeding, teething, regressions, development leaps, illness…..the list is actually endless.
And those whose babies sleep through? They’re either VERY lucky, are telling little white lies, or are counting babies who wake and cry in the night, but don’t actually need to get up, as sleeping through the night.
So don’t sweat it. It will happen.
Well, I hope it will anyway.

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Turns out weaning won’t be as fun as you originally thought. Infact, its a whole lot more STRESSFUL than you originally thought.
The magic cure you’re looking for in terms of helping cure the projectile vomiting and reflux? Well yeah, it certainly will end up helping. But only by about month 11. By which time you’ll have stressed yourself to the max about a whole host of new problems, including whether you’re feeding your baby enough/too much/the right foods/enough variety/different textures…..
There are no clear cut answers when it comes to weaning as every baby is different (yes, I feel like slapping MYSELF even saying that) so you really are just absolutely winging it. Or I was at least.
It feels like we may have actually come full circle recently – it took us a fair while to get the hang of eating and trying new foods. Once she got used to it, there was no stopping her – any and every food item was her favourite. Now though? We’ve seen her start to turn food away and some days not eat a single thing. I am praying this is a phase (maybe teething related) but considering both her dad and I were both fuss-pots, I’m bracing myself for the inevitable.

All those development milestones youre worried about being delayed/not happening at all?! Well, Liv is crawling, pulling herself up, standing on her own and furniture cruising like a pro. In fact, I would’ve put good money on Liv walking independently by her first birthday, especially considering she was walking with her walker by 8months, but the fact she’s discovered crawling this last month has had a huge impact. Why bother learning to walk when you can just crawl to places easily enough?!
I’m glad of the little reprieve and not at all worried, yet I’ve come to the realisation that there will ALWAYS be something to worry about in terms of development. In our case? It’s teeth.
Or rather the fact there are none.
Remember when you were pulling your hair out at the ‘teething’ symptoms she had at 5/6months? Turns out she’s either the longest teether in the history of the world or that was infact just regression behaviour…..
I know in my heart of hearts that it’s not abnormal for babies to reach the age of one and not have any but it’s hard not to drive yourself crazy when all the teething symptoms are clearly there but no end result even in sight. I know it probably means that she’ll end up getting most of them through in a short space of time, which is said to be a little easier?
I’ll be sure to let you all know my response to that when it happens…..

You will STILL prioritise yourself last.
Those roots that badly needed done when your baby was born? Yep, still needing done.
Those eyebrows that are in danger of joining together? Yeah, they’ve finally reunited.
That date night you’ve been scheduling in your head for all of eternity? Early nights ALWAYS win.
If I’m ever fortunate enough to have any cash left over at the end of the month, it always finds itself getting spent on my daughter. Its definitely something that is about to become a focus of mine however – as much as Liv will ALWAYS come first, it definitely won’t do her any harm if I have some ‘me’ time occasionally – you can’t pour from an empty cup and it’s SO important for your mental health.
Speaking of which, those mad, out of control hormones? Still not calmed down that much. In fact, I might make an outrageous claim here and say that you’ll probably always be an over-emotional, sensitive mess now…..

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On a more light hearted note, there is no possible way to keep a baby’s outfit clean for longer than ten minutes when weaned and/or moving. You’ll feel your heart actually break as they slaver the orange cheesy puff they stuffed in whole, down their beautiful hand-made, pastel pink romper that you’ve spent the remainder of your maternity pay on that month.
And silently vow you won’t do it again.
Until you see the most beautiful creation on Instagram and repeat the whole painful process again.

Finally, and most importantly – you’ll feel like you can’t possibly love Liv any more than you already do. You’re wrong….it grows by the day.
And THAT is what makes it all worth it.

I’m so excited that it’s the lead up to Livs first birthday – this week is full of amazing memories and mixed emotions from this time last year. I’ll be spending the week party planning and making the most of her last full week as a ‘proper baby.’

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